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Solomon Islands bans visits from foreign navy vessels after Navy hospital ship’s arrival

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The Solomon Islands will not allow foreign navy ships to enter its ports until the government works out new procedures for arriving military vessels, the prime minister’s office said Tuesday. The U.S. suspects the move is related to China’s expanding influence in the South Pacific.

The announcement comes more than a week after the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry and British patrol vessel HMS Spey were denied entry to the Solomons, and the same day that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare welcomed the hospital ship USNS Mercy for a Pacific Partnership mission.

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